You’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile in your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel

~Carol King

Recognizing beauty

Part of living the adventurous life is recognizing beauty in the world. Recognizing beauty in nature, others, and ourselves. This can be particularly difficult for us to do when we don’t feel beautiful. But sometimes we don’t feel beautiful because we are listening to the wrong voices.

I’m not usually one who listens to the “advice” of celebrities because often I feel like they don’t live in our world.  They live in a microcosm of reality and their advice leaves me wanting, however, just today I came across this video on Twitter. Julia Roberts was on Ellen and she had some really down-to-earth things to say about beauty.

I love the realism of this video.  Sure we don’t all look like Julia Roberts, and that’s the genetics part that she was talking about.  But we all can surround ourselves with people whose kindness and love inspires.  We can allow ourselves to feel beautiful by showing the world all the love in our hearts, as the song says.  There are so many times I find myself missing out on adventurous living because I’m too busy in my masochistic self-pity to stop and see all the beauty around me.

I am surrounded by people who love me, care for me, and see the beauty in me.  When I allow myself to see the beauty in my life I become grateful.  As I practice gratitude I become more loving.  And as I  become more loving I not only shine that love outward, but I start to see the beauty within myself.  Being able to recognize my own beauty, I start to recognize the beauty in others.

I don’t mean recognizing beauty in the way that causes us to compare ourselves and want to change things about ourselves.  I mean recognizing beauty in others because you can see them for who they really are.  Recognizing value and worth of every person you encounter.

It has been my experience that you can’t recognize the value and worth of others if we can’t recognize our own value and worth.

When you have a hard time seeing beauty within yourself, you will almost always miss it in the world.

How do we start to recognize that beauty within?

Listen to the right voices.

Listen to the people in your life who know you for who you really are, and love you for you.  Listen to the ones who will not bullshit you.  The problem with bullshitters is that even if they are saying kind and sweet things, those words don’t penetrate our hearts.  We don’t trust their compliments because we don’t believe those people really know us.

Listening to the right voices starts with recognizing who those people are in your life.  Who are the ones who have always been there for you?  Who are the people who would drop everything for you if you needed them?  Who are the people who know you, love you, and actually like being around you?  Listen to those voices.  Then speak your love for them.

When you speak your love into the world, you will become the beauty you wish to see in the world.  Adding to the beauty of the world is the privilege of being human.  Our humanity is fully realized when we add to the beauty.  When we add to the beauty and recognize the beauty all around us, it is then that being fully alive, we can live out the adventure we seek.